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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow PACE Bureau to Turkey: STOP Military Invasion in Syrian Kurdish area,Respect Human Rights+Seek Peace

PACE Bureau to Turkey: STOP Military Invasion in Syrian Kurdish area,Respect Human Rights+Seek Peace

Geschrieben von ACM
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

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*Strasbourg/Council of Europe/Angelo Marcopolo/- In 4 Points read by an official with a Mandate by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) Bureau, the PanEuropean Organisation's Top Political Body asked Turkey to Stop its Mlitary Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Region, (while also appealing to the UN SC to Back Further this Call), and called Turkey to Respect Human Rights, as well as to Seek Peace.

 

 
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At least PACE's 4 Biggest Political Groups (those of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Liberals, Socialists, and EuroLeft), supported such a move, which, (as PACE's Presidency confirmed Twice), might, eventually, be followed, from Friday, also by a formal Report and Resolution, due to be Debated in Public and Voted by the Plenary Later-on.


Ankara's Military Intervention was qualified, by "very" or "Deeply Concerned" Speakers on behalf of PACE's Bureau and the main Groups, as "Shocking", "Alarming", "Worrying" and "Extremely Serious", with "Severe Consequences", (particularly "for the Civilian Population").
The "Turkish Authorities" were accused to "put Extra Fuel on the Fire", their Claims to have "No Proof", and the Turkish "Army (to) Enter Syria in order to Stay there", provoking "Instability" and "further Undermining Security", also by further "Upseting the Kurdish Communities in Turkey" : - "The Longer the Interventon in Syria Lasts, and the More Violence is used, the More Internal Tensions in Turkey will Grow and lead to new Explosions of Violence", warned Tiny Cox, from the Netherlands, speaking in behalf of PACE's Bureau.


- Already, "there are Many Victims" even "among ... Non-Combatants", i.e."Innocent Victims", as "Shells Rain down on Residential Areas", Denounced Romanian MEP Stroe, on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group. "The Number of Civilian Victims of Bombardments is Mounting, Day by Day". And "Thousands of Civilians are reported to be Fleeing the Province", added Armenian MEP Marukyan, on behalf of the Liberal Party.


- Significally, The  endangered Civilians are "the same People who Fled the Barbary of ISIL (and) now Fear for their Lives again" : Almost 800.000 Civilians, (among them Many Yazidi and Christian Refugees". "They Now Fear the Jihadist Groups operating in the Shadows of the Turkish offensive", Stroe denounced. "The Region was one of the Few Parts  of Syria that was relatively Stable and UnTouched by the .. Conflict". But "it Now faces the full-scale Consequences of the Turkish Offensive", Marukyan observed. A formerly "Peaceful, Olive-Producing, Kurdish Majority Town of Afrin has been Turned into a Theater of War", added Kurkcu, on behalf of the EuroLeft Group of MEPs.


- "Our Most Important Concern is the Safety of  Innocent Civilians", and "All Parties involved" ("in particular those who Initiated that Armed Conflict") "Bear the Responsibility for Protecting Civilians", while "a New Wave of Refugees" profiles at the Horizon, since "Turkey Risks Esclating Syria's Humanitarian Crisis, and Civilians are in Danger", by "the Consequences of the Turkish Assault" : Already "the UN estimate that 5.000 People have been Displaced by Clashes" "in NW Syria", and, "Furthermore, an estimated  323.000 Civilians are at Great Risk", Warned Ms Mikko, from Estonia, on behalf of the Socialist Group. "Thousands of Civilians are reported to be Fleing the province". There is an "Emergency situation and Civlian Casualties as a result of Attacks on (formerly) Peaceful Towns and Cities", Marukyan pointed out. "According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, .. many Civilians, including Children and the Elderly, have Lost their Lives in Air Raids and Artillery Shelling, while Thousands have Fled their Homes", Kurkcu noted.

+ Moreover, "this (Turkish Military) Operation has Opened up an Unecessary New Front", "and could Divert the Coalition-Backed Syrian Kurdish Combattants from the Main and Essential Objective ; The Fight against ISIL and Other Terrorist Groups", she pointed out.

++ Meanwhile, the Turkish Government "says that those Who want to use the Fundamental Rights of Freedom to Gather and Freedom of Expression, to Oppose this Military Intervention, will <<Pay a High Price>> (sic !)", Cox Warned. "Many Tens of People who have Called on the Government to Stop the War, have been Arrested", observed Kurckcu. Already, "Turkey has Detained ... 150 People for  Writing Social Media Posts about its Military Campaign, against the Kurdish Militia in Syria, since the Operation Began : Detainees include Politicians, Journalists and Activists !", Mikko Denounced. "It could lead to a Further Limitation of Fundamental Freedoms, such as the Right to Free Expression and Demonstration", which "are already Severely Strained, under the Continued *<<State of Emergency>>- "This Military Operation mustNot be carried out at the Expense of the Fundamental Rights of People in Turkey, and of Civilians in Syria", she refused.

 

+++Ankara aims also to Impose a "30 kms - Deep Zone, inside Syria", together with a Proxy 25.000 "pro-Turkish" Armed Groups, who have "Joined the Invasion", several MEPs  denounced.,                                                                                                                                                                         

++++ On the Contrary, "the (mainly Kurdis) YPG" emerged "from the Struggle for Survival, by the Peoples of Northern Syria, Facing Horrendous ISIL Massacres", reminded Kurkcu. "Following the Legendary Defence of the People of Kobani, in 2014, (NDLR : Supported by CoE's Assembly : See ...), it has become a Symbol of Hope, not only for its own People, but for the whole World, in Defence of Human Dignity against ISIL across the Globe". "In 2016, COE's Assembly awarded a Yazidi Woman, Nadia Murad, the "Vaklav Havel" Prize, for the Courage she displayed during Years of Captivity at the Hands of ISIL, as a Sex Slave". While "Thousands of Other Yazidi Women were Rescued from Slavery by the Kurdish Womens' Defence Units - the YPI- between 2014 and 2017, when ISIL was finally Defeated. These Women were role Models for Young women across the Globe. ... They were the Cover Stars of Mainstream Magazines accross the World", he highlighted, Showing relevant Photos. "Now Ankara is Targeting these Women, ... Because they are part of Autonomous Administrations that Rule Themselves, in their Native Tongue, accross Northern Syria. .. What a Crime ! Throughout Human History, for a People to Arise from Nothing, to Represent Hope for Humanity, could be seen as ...Virtuous", he observed.

mep_brandishes_times_frontpage_on_syrian_kurdish_womens_fight_against_isis_islamist_terror_400 

 

+++++ "To this Day, Turkey has Not come under a Single Military Attack ...from the Inhabitants of Afrin", "Nor has the town Ever Hosted a single ISIL Unit", reminded Kurkcu. So that, "Lacking of Any Moral or Military Justification, the Afrin Incursion comes at a Time when Voters' support for Turkey's Ruling Party, Ahead of the 2019 General Election if Plummering. The only Plausible, yet Unacceptable Reason for the Incursion is a possible Leverage for fanning Nationalism in Turkey, and Crushing the Opposition, (by) using the War as Pretext", he accused.


-----------------

=> In Consequence, "We (CoE) Need not only to express our Thoughts, but to Act !", Mikko stressed, on behalf of the Socialist Group. "The Most Important thing is to Protect Civilians, and to Respect International Law". And "we .. Urge ... Turkish MEPs to do their outmost to Seek Peace and Stability, through Diplomatic and Political Channels, at Home and Abroad", she added- "We .. Call on Turkey to Cease its Military Operations and Refrain from further Escalation of Attacks", stressed Marukyan, on behalf of the Liberal Group of MEPs. "USA, France, and Other International Actors have already ... Called for a Halt to Military Actions". The "Liberal" Group of MEPs "Calls on the International Community to Intervene, and Stop the further increase in Violence and Mass Human Rights' Violations in Syria", he concluded. - "The (CoE's) Assembly" should "Call on Turkey to raise the Right to Live in Peace at the Top of the Agenda, and Release all those Detained in Prison for Defending Peace", Kurkcu urged, on behalf of the EuroLeft Group. "Our Most Important Concern is the Safety of Innocent Civilians", and, "in Conclusion, we (COE Assembly) Urge (the PanEuropean Organisation's 47) Member States to identify a Peaceful Solution", stressed Stroe, on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group of MEPs.


>>> - "We should Act Now", urged from the outset, the "First Speaker, Chosen by (PACE's) Bureau", as the Assembly's Presidency underlined, Senator Cox from the Netherlands:  He made "4 Proposals :"


(1)  "First, to Call on the Turkish Authorities to Immediately STOP their Military Intervention in Syria, to Respect the UN Charter, and to Look for Political Ways to Solve Political Problems, including Security needs".


(2) + "Call on CoE's (47) Member States to use their Influence in the UN Security Council, (including those which are Permanent Members of the UN SC), to have asap. a UN SC Resolution demanding the End of Hostilities, and the Immediate WithDrawal of the Turkish Army from Syrian soil".


(3) ++ "Call on the CoE to Use All its Possibilities (the Committee of Ministers, the Assembly, the Secretary General, and the Human Rights Commissioner) to Convince ... Turkey (a Member State) that this Unilateral Military Intervention Violates the UN Charter, and the Values and Principles of our Organisation" (CoE).


(4) +++ "Call on the Turkish Authorities and the Turkish-Kurdish Community, to ReStart the Peace process, that was Jeopardized in 2015, but which is, according to (PACE) Resolution number 1925 of 2013, "the Obvious Way Forward, in Ending Violence, and Creating a Peaceful Environment for the Solution of the Kurdish Question".


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Followed ... no less than Seven (7) mainly Turkish Establishment's, (with 2 Azeri, obviously Traped by Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline...), simple Speakers, (compared with only 4 Europeans : from France, Germany, Ireland and Belgium, all Opposed to the pro-Government Turks), who, inter alia, attempted to Explain everything by "... the Film "Post" or "Pentagon Papers" (sic !), revealed that "Turkish (Military) Forces are also currently in Syria's Idlib province", (i.e. even more at the South of Afrin province, discussed here), Boasted that "Turkey has decided to ... CLEAN the Territory" (sic !), etc.


----------------------------------------------------------

Concluding, CoE Assembly's vice-President, MEP Ana Mendes from Portugal (of the Socialist Group), observed that "the matter May be Referred by the (PACE's) Bureau to a Committee for a Report", (possibly at the Next Bureau's Meeting, on Friday early Morning).


Such an eventual move would, most probably, imply also the existence of a Written Draft Text, (in the form of a Motion for Resolution, signed by several MEPs).

 

(../..)


***

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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